A computer glitch. That’s the reason…ok, one of the reasons, I started writing whisky reviews on this blog. When I first discovered scotch, I knew I needed to write down what I had tried and what I liked about it, so when I’d go into restaurants I’d know what to order. So I did, using the Notes app on my laptop. And I kept adding to those notes for almost 1-1/2 years…until one fateful day, all my notes were gone. Pfft. Poof. [insert other appropriate sound effect here]. I don’t know why or how it happened, and I couldn’t seem to restore them from my backup. ** SIGH ** This blog then is a record of my notes…another backup, if you will.
I still write notes of every scotch, whiskey, or bourbon that I try, and I present them here for me (and hopefully, for you) to use as a reference. Most of the time I go to tasting events with a lineup of 4-6 samples (like Whisky Wednesdays or a more formal seminar), but when I go to a restaurant and order something or go to someone’s house and they’re pouring a new expression for me, I write up my tasting notes for those pours as well. This post, then, is a short collection of some of those random tastings I come across. There’s no rhyme or reason to how I collected these notes to present to you. Instead, think of it as a cleaning up of my files for my (and your) perusal (so I don’t lose these notes again, Heaven forbid!)
Let’s begin, shall we?
Dalwhinnie Winter’s Gold – 43%ABV; I found this bottle last weekend at a friend’s house and knew I had to give it a try
Dalwhinnie Winter’s Gold is a 2015 addition to the Highland distillery’s range inspired by the chilly climate up in the remote part of Scotland where their single malt Scotch whisky is distilled – as the label remarks, it was “Crafted by the Cold”. It’s made only with spirit that has been distilled between October and March, and interestingly enough, they suggest that you try serving this expression frozen!
- Nose: Honey, butterscotch
- Taste: Very soft, medium body, caramel, pineapples, bananas
- Finish: Fades quickly, cinnamon and brown sugar lingers
- Comments: So approachable! Wonderful sweetness and no fire. I had it room temperature, but trying it cold sounds interesting
Slane Irish Blended Whiskey – 40% ABV; At last week’s Gordon’s DTX Whisky Wednesday (the only thing in the line-up); from the family that runs Slane Castle in County Meath, Ireland, this whiskey is aged in 3 casks:
- Heavy toasted New American Oak – adds the flavors of butter & vanilla
- Jack Daniels cask – gives notes of brown sugar & bananas
- Oloroso sherry butt – adds raisin notes and body to the spirit
- Nose: light vanilla, slight pineapple
- Taste: hay, cinnamon spice, medium body, light
- Finish: banana, very light raisins on the finish (need to look for it)
- Comments: very soft & approachable, had characters not usually found in Irish Whiskey
Whistlepig Rye 10 – 50% ABV; A slightly older discovery from a restaurant last summer; aged in New American Oak with a bourbon barrel finish
- Nose: corn, rye underneath, hint of vanilla
- Taste: pepper immediately, hint of sweet Toffee candy before rye rises,
- Finish: spice lingers in the back of the throat, Rye slowly fades
- Comments: the rye isn’t overpowering, it’s balanced by the sweetness; with water: pepper is tempered so sweet corn & caramel is more prominent, rye becomes even more sublime. Finish fades faster
Basil Hayden Kentucky Bourbon – 40%ABV; Recommended by a friend last summer…had to try it!
- Nose: Soft nose, corn, hints of rye, slight vanilla oak
- Taste: hit of pepper first, rye shows up,
- Finish: some dark chocolate decided to join the mix & lingers
- Comments: I really like this! The rye is pleasantly balance with the sweetness of the corn. A good sipping bourbon
It’s good to know that I can count on the Internet to hold my notes. Nothing can happen here, can it?
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!